Proper 19 – Year B

Proverbs 1:20-33; Psalm 19 or Wisdom of Solomon 7:26-8:1; (or Isaiah 50:4-9; Psalm 116:1-9); James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38

“If you know who you are – you will know what to do.” – Ronald J. Greer

                Who do people say we are?  Most likely they are wrong.  Jesus asked this same question about himself.  The reports back were off base.  He was not John the Baptist reincarnated.  He was not Elijah back from the dead, not one of the other old prophets either.  People made snap judgments about him, as they do about our identity.  From ancient days to now there is a long history of not knowing who people really are.  OK, so Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, as Peter knew.  But who are we?  For Christians, who Jesus is and who we are must be interconnected.  But we are not the Christ, even if many of us do have a God complex.  Christ is Jesus’ title (see Greek below), not his name.  Let’s be a little more descriptive about the characteristics of the person who has this title.  Jesus is the one who loves even enemies.  He forgives endlessly.  He turns the other cheek.  He goes the extra mile.  He feeds the hungry and gives drink to the thirsty.  That’s who Jesus is.  That’s his identity.  And ultimately he gives his life that we might live.  Now, as Christians, is that who we are?  If we can see who we are, we will know what to do (Greer quote above).  The thing about identity is that it often comes with purpose.  And with purpose comes peace.  Don’t believe what others say.  They are probably just as wrong about us as they were about Jesus.  They will never know who we are if we ourselves don’t have any idea.


                The word “Christ” in Greek literally means “anointed one.”  The long awaited savior was referred to as the anointed one, the Messiah.  In many traditions folks are anointed at baptism or confirmation and in other settings.  Therefore, we are anointed ones.  That’s our identity, who we are.


Birds know they fly high.

Volcanoes know they erupt.

Do we know ourselves?